‘Ender’s Game’ Tops The Weekend Box Office, Slightly Exceeds Expectations

Director Gavin Hood’s Ender’s Game defeated its competition at the box office this weekend and exceeded industry expectations in the process. However, Summit Entertainment shouldn’t start celebrating just yet.

According to the estimates that started rolling in today, the adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel made approximately $28 million from moviegoers over the past three days. Unfortunately, Summit and Lionsgate spent roughly $110 million to bring this sci-fi tale to life.

USA Today explains that Ender’s Game made around $3 million more than some analysts predicted ahead of the film’s nationwide release. The flick also ended up generating healthier receipts despite several boycotts from gay rights groups over Card’s controversial thoughts regarding homosexuality.

“Not exactly the instant franchise Lionsgate was hoping for. But things could have gone worse,” Box Office Prophets analyst Tim Briody told the outlet.

Paramount Pictures ended up snagging second place over the weekend with the crude R-rated Jackass spin-off Bad Grandpa. Although some believed the raunchy comedy would decrease significantly during its second week in theaters, the movie ended up snagging an additional $20.5 million from moviegoers.

With the exception of Ender’s Game, the new releases didn’t strike a chord with audiences. The star-studded comedy Last Vegas wound up in third place with only $16.5 million. Although the film stars Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, and Michael Douglas, the flick couldn’t convince people to part ways with their cash.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the Relativity Media animated flick Free Birds also stumbled a bit at the box office this weekend. Despite an all-star cast and a family-friendly rating, the movie only scrounged up $16.2 million in ticket sales. As other studios have learned, not all animated features are created equal.

This weekend’s other new release, director Richard Curtis’ romantic outing About Time, made approximately $1 million from a total of 175 theaters. Starring Rachel McAdams, the movie tells the story of a man who suddenly discovers he has the uncanny ability to travel through time. Obviously, he uses this power to find himself a girlfriend.

Other norable limited-release titles include Dallas Buyers Club ($264,000), Man of Tai Chi ($112,300), and the much-maligned Diana ($64,900).

Curious to see what other films made this weekend? Check out the top 10 money-earners below. These numbers are estimates, so the figures could change when the actuals arrive later this week.

1. Ender’s Game – $28 million
2. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – $20.5 million
3. Last Vegas – $16.5 million
4. Free Birds – $16.2 million
5. Gravity – $13.1 million
6. Captain Phillips – $8.5 million
7. 12 Years a Slave – $4.6 million
8. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $4.2 million
9. Carrie – $3.4 million
10. The Counselor – $3.2 million

Did you catch Ender’s Game or any of the other new releases in theaters this weekend?

[Image via Summit Entertainment / Lionsgate]